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Psychosocial Predictors of Diet and Physical Activity in African-Americans: Results From the Delta Body and Soul Effectiveness Trial, 2010–2011

Thomson, Jessica L., Zoellner, Jamie M., Tussing-Humphreys, Lisa M.
American Journal of Health Promotion 2014 v.28 no.3 pp. e81
African Americans, adults, behavior change, diet, exercise, fruits, health promotion, models, religion, self-efficacy, social support, sugars, surveys, vegetables, whole grain foods, Southeastern United States
Purpose. To examine associations among psychosocial constructs of behavior change and postintervention changes in diet and physical activity (PA). Design. Quasi-experimental with cluster (church) treatment assignment. Setting. Churches (n=8) in a rural, southern region of the United States. Subjects. A total of 403 African-American adults participating in the Delta Body and Soul study. Intervention. Six-month diet and PA intervention consisting of monthly didactic educational sessions with specific emphasis on increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and decreasing consumption of added sugars. Self-directed PA was promoted throughout the intervention. Measures. Validated surveys for all dietary, PA, and psychosocial measures. Analysis. Secondary analysis using generalized linear mixed models to test for significant intervention effects on psychosocial constructs and for significant associations between changes in psychosocial constructs and changes in diet and PA outcomes after controlling for covariates. Results. Intervention effects were apparent for several dietary psychosocial constructs (improvements ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 points), but only one PA construct (decisional balance for exercise). Changes in psychosocial constructs, including self-efficacy, social support, and decisional balance, were significant predictors of dietary outcome changes (model coefficients ranging from 0.03 to 0.42), but not PA changes. Conclusion. Understanding which psychosocial constructs predict improvements in dietary and PA behaviors helps inform theoretical mechanisms of action and identify social and behavioral processes to target in faith-based interventions.